1 COR 10:1-11
INTRO: Your Bible is divided into two very distinct sections - the Old Testament and the New Testament. Many of us remember having had our mothers read Bible stories to us when we were young children. Indeed, many of us who are parents recall having read them to our own children. Most of those wonderful stories came from the section of your Bible called the Old Testament. As we grew into our teens years and early adulthood, we probably realized that we were hearing much more from New Testament sources ... and, perhaps, wondered about that sort of shift in emphasis. Well, it has very much to do with the fact that we no longer live under the religious stipulations of the old covenant. But this highlights the fact that it does really matter what we believe about the Old Testament. For example...
I. THE OLD TESTAMENT SPEAKS TO TWO DISTINCT PERIODS
A. There is the period of the patriarchs
1. this is the period of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob & 12 sons
2. a period promising the second - Gen 12:1,2 with 15:13-16
3. a period of what one might call family altar religion
4. the only priest of God mentioned was Melchizedek - Gen 14:18
B. There is the period of the Mosaic covenant - the great nation period
1. I usually suggest a beginning point at Ex 19:3-9
2. then, the law of Moses begins at Ex 20 with the Ten Commandments
3. the period of Theocracy ... and kings; of Levitical priests and temples
4. Jesus actually lived and died in this period - subject to Moses law
II. THE OLD TESTAMENT IS THE DEVELOPMENT OF GODS PURPOSE
A. Eph 3:9-12 - ...the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ...
1. so, the Old Testament is not a disjointed collection of books
2. the chronology begins with Gen 1:1 and continues to bring us to Christ
3. a problem? not arranged chronologically - after 2 Chron - too often the Old Testament is studied without this sense of chronology and Gods purpose
B. So, in the Old Testament one finds many Messianic prophecies
1. Lk 24:44,45 - ...all things must be fulfilled...concerning me
2. Gen 3:15 is generally thought to be the first of those prophecies
3. the fact of fulfilled prophecy is one of the great proofs of inspiration
III. THE OLD TESTAMENT IS SUPERCEDED BY THE NEW COVENANT
A. This is one of those things some find difficult to understand, accept
1. reason? perhaps for the very reason I mentioned earlier - Bible stories
2. and we do spend a great deal of time referring to Psalms or Proverbs (I have at least two little New Testaments which have both of those Old Testament books included within the cover) and the Ten Commandments
3. further, historically Matthew through John are lived under the O.T.
B. Some Old Testament indications of this...
1. Deut 18:15 with Acts 3:22-26 - Moses superceded by Christ!
2. Dan 9:24-27 with Mt 24:15 - Levitical system of religion would come to a full end with the ultimate destruction of Jerusalem (and the temple)
3. Isa 2:2,3 with Mt 28:19,20 - national covenant (for Israel) would be superceded by the international covenant to include all nations
C. Some New Testament affirmations of this...
1. Heb 7:11-19 - the priesthood changed - we are under the law of Christ
2. 2 Cor 3:4-11 - clearly, the covenant of Moses has been done away
3. Gal 4:21-31 - an allegory to demonstrate the relationship of two covenants ... one of which gendereth to bondage (the Mosaic covenant)
IV. HOW MAY WE USE THE OLD TESTAMENT?
A. Acts 18:28 - To preach Christ
B. 1 Cor 10:11 - To use for examples (...written for our admonition...)
C. Rom 15:4 - To help us develop patience & comfort in Christ (...written for our learning...)
D. 2 Pet 2:22 (Prov 26:11) - To learn and use the wisdom of God (wisdom which transcends covenants)
E. We cannot, must not attempt to bind the terms of the Mosaic covenant from which Christ has loosed us
1. the religious system, the governmental system, the many and varied laws which were clearly meant for Israel ... yes, even the ten commandments
2. but the great lessons of the Old Testament are truly timeless
3. we must teach and understand the old covenant, which the Old Testament in the main represents, has been fulfilled and superceded!
CLOSE: To close our thoughts this morning I would like to read Heb 7:18,19.
Your hope and mine is in Jesus Christ and in the life which is taught in the New Testament. My love for the Old Testament is as great (perhaps greater) than that of most. But I do not live there! Look to Jesus for your hope and for your life.
Cecil A. Hutson
7 August 2005
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)